16 must-haves to create a DIY ice cream sundae bar at home

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Six different tubs of ice cream on the counter with 3 of the Zeroll Ice Cream Scoops in different flavors

An ice cream sundae bar is the best kind of overwhelming; how can you possibly choose between chocolate or vanilla, crushed Hershey bars or gummy worms, and hot fudge or salted caramel sauce? Planning a sundae bar may not be as fun as eating at one, but we've rounded up 16 products to guide you through the process.

I'm no stranger to ice cream parties. My grandfather sold ice cream toppings to hotels and restaurants, and my aunt and uncle ran a wholesale ice cream business in the Hudson Valley for 30 years. I know how to appreciate a pint of creamy, frozen deliciousness.

Beyond the sweets, there are practical items like tablecloths and napkins that will make your sundae bar a hopefully less sticky success. And for the snacks, try to have something for everyone, whether they like salty with their sweet or just want to pile on the sugar.

Here are 16 practical and delicious products for your ice cream sundae bar.

A warming ice cream scoop
The Zeroll Ice Cream Scoop sitting on a wood table

Zeroll Ice Cream Scoop

Ice Cream Scoop (button)

Scooping ice cream is a workout, but having a sturdy, body-heat-activated scoop makes it easier. The Zeroll Ice Cream Scoop's handle is filled with heat conductive liquid, which absorbs warmth from your hand to help soften the ice cream.

A set of durable dessert bowls
Ice cream bowls with matching ice cream cone spoons are perfect for kids.

GreenCo 12 Ice Cream Bowls and Spoons

12 Ice Cream Bowls and Spoons (button)

DOWAN 6 Porcelain Small Bowls

6 Porcelain Small Bowls (button)

The GreenCo's ice cream bowls are durable and perfect for kids, and the matching waffle-cone-shaped spoons are a playful touch. If you're looking for something a bit less literal, we're fans of Dowan's porcelain snack bowls with their bold mixed prints — use them as ice cream bowls or set them out to hold toppings.

An array of sauces
Two jars of Williams Sonoma dessert sauces, hot fudge on the left and salted caramel on the right

Williams Sonoma Dessert Sauces

Hot Fudge & Caramel Sauce Set (button)

Ghirardelli Chocolate Sauce Squeeze Bottles

Chocolate Sauce Squeeze Bottles (button)

Hot fudge is a must at any ice cream sundae bar, but it isn't the only sauce out there. Salted caramel and white chocolate are equally as delicious. We like the 17-ounce jars at Williams Sonoma for rich flavor, and the Ghirardelli Squeeze Bottles because they make it easy for everyone to serve themselves.

Candy toppings
A bag filled with a variety of different mini chocolate candies on a table

Mars Minis Chocolate Favorites Variety Pack

Minis Chocolate Favorites Variety Pack (button)

You don't have to wait for Halloween to get a big bag of candy. These variety packs are perfect for people who like their ice cream sundae to be equal parts ice cream and candy. Unwrap and chop up the chocolate bars, or leave everything out whole like a sundae bar grab bag. If you want to add another flavor layer, check out the SweeTARTS, Nerds, Laffy Taffy, and Gobstopper Variety pack also available at Target.

On-theme napkins
MU Kitchen Cool Treats Kitchen Towels on a white background

Ice Cream Cone Napkins

Ice Cream Napkins (button)

MU Kitchen Cool Treats Kitchen Towels

Cool Treats Kitchen Towels (button)

Dessert can be a messy business, so it's a good idea to have napkins on hand. The 25 paper napkins from Etsy are shaped like ice cream cones, and the fun design may encourage little ones to actually wipe their hands. For reusable cloths, the cotton hand towels from MU Kitchen have a sweet ice cream print and are machine washable.

Flavored marshmallows
Two women holding up different bags of Smashmallow flavors covering up their faces

S'more Better Variety Pack by Smashmallow

S'more Better Variety Pack (button)

Take regular marshmallows up a notch with a Smashmallow Variety Pack, all soy, gluten, and dairy free. These are delicious enough to be an appetizer to the ice cream, or throw them on the scoops for extra flavor. The five-pack includes mint chocolate chip, cinnamon churro, toasted vanilla, cookie dough, and strawberries and cream.

Safe-to-eat cookie dough
A bunch of different flavors of Doughp edible cookie dough circled around a bowl filled with the cookie dough, all on a mustard yellow background

Doughp Edible Cookie Dough Bestseller

Edible Cookie Dough Bestseller (button)

For many people, eating raw cookie dough is a bit of a guilty pleasure. Doughp makes cookie dough that is meant to be eaten straight from the container, and you can bake it into cookies too! This pack of best selling flavors is perfect for turning every ice cream into cookies and cream.

A sampler of fancy sprinkles
A colorful pile of different shapes and sizes of Sweetapolita sprinkles

Sweetapolita Summer Lovin Sprinkle Sampler Pack

Summer Lovin Sprinkle Sampler Pack (button)

Sweetapolita goes beyond chocolate and rainbow sprinkles with sparkles, different shapes, and even matte coatings. The Summer Lovin Sampler Pack contains five sprinkle medleys that you can buy in full size bottles if you fall in love. The colorful mixtures are made of traditional pressed sugar sprinkles coated in candy shells. 

A waffle bowl maker
The Dash Waffle Bowl maker with a waffle being made on a gray background

Dash Waffle Bowl Maker

Waffle Bowl Maker (button)

Maybe you'll forgo the cups altogether and serve the ice cream in waffle bowls. Dash offers several novelty waffle makers, including this bowl-shaped iron. The recipe book will guide you to a crispy and evenly browned waffle, perfect for a few scoops of ice cream. At under six inches wide, this is easy to store when not in use.

A water resistant tablecloth
The Summer Stripe Indoor/Outdoor Tablecloth on a deck outside with a tray of lemonade sitting on the table

Summer Stripe Indoor/Outdoor Tablecloth

Summer Stripe Indoor/Outdoor Tablecloth (button)

You can always pick up a pack of disposable tablecloths at a party store, but a reusable version is a sturdier alternative. Outdoor tablecloths are water repellent and often more durable than indoor linen ones. If a tablecloth can survive a rainstorm, it can handle melting ice cream and spilled hot fudge.

For DIY ice cream
Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker

Cuisinart Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Ice Cream Maker

Pure Indulgence Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet and Ice Cream Maker (2-Quart) (button)

If you want to take your ice cream party to the next level, make the ice cream yourself with a home ice cream maker. Our favorite is the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence because it produces up to two quarts at a time and is only $100. This is a frozen bowl machine, meaning you'll have to freeze the bowl 12 hours before using it, but if you're planning a whole party, that won't be a problem.

A topping for ice cream or cocktails
A jar of Luxardo Maraschino Cherries sitting ona. table next to a bowl of cherries and a plate of mint leaves

Peninsula Premium Cocktail Cherries

Premium Cocktail Cherries (button)

Luxardo Maraschino Cherries

Maraschino Cherries (button)

Maraschino cherries go with everything from ice cream to cocktails, vanilla to cookie dough. Leave out a few jars of these tart and sweet treats for your guests to be creative with. A root beer float topped with a cherry or two sounds like a dream.

Individual ice cream tubs
4 of the Williams Sonoma Individual Ice cream containers on a table, two of them open and filled with different ice cream with the other two closed

Individual Ice Cream Storage Containers

Individual Ice Cream Storage Containers (button)

You can use these individual ice cream tubs for personal ice cream cups or for to-go sundaes. Each BPA-free plastic tub holds approximately six ounces, a perfect size for your guests to take on their way if they have to leave the party early.

A box of cones
A box of Joy Jump Cup Cake Cones on a white background

Joy Regular Cake Cones

Regular Cake Cones (button)

Konery Artisanal Waffle Cones Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake (button)

Everyone has a favorite cone, whether it's waffle, sugar, or wafer. Play it safe and get a box of each, but make sure to seal the box tight if you don't use all the cones; a stale cone is not pleasant to eat. Keebler Sugar Cones and Joy Wafer Cones are widely available at grocery stores, or you can treat yourself to an artisanal Konery Waffle Cone with flavors like toasted coconut and birthday cake.

A selection of savory treats
A bag of Ruffles on a white background

Bacon bits

Real Bacon Bits Mega Pack (button)

Potato chips

Original Flavor Party Size Ridged Potato Chips (button)

Combining salty and sweet is an easy way to bump up the flavors at a dessert bar. Bacon bits might be an unexpected addition, but put them on vanilla or even a maple flavor for a breakfast-as-dessert experience. Similarly, crushed potato chips add texture and salt to a sweet and smooth dessert.

Chocolate covered crunchies/candies
3 different bags of chocolate covered nuts from Harry and David behind bowls filled with the nuts

Dylan's Candy Bar Chocolate Tackle Box

Chocolate Tackle Box (button)

Harry and David Choose-Your-Own Chocolate and Nuts

Choose-Your-Own Chocolate and Nuts (button)

Be sure to have plenty of treats for the chocolate lovers in your party. The Dylan's Candy Bar Chocolate Tackle Box has two compartments each of six different candies, from chocolate covered almonds to white chocolate nonpareils. Harry and David offers a gourmet, choose-your-own bundle. There are nine different candies that are all delicious, so you can't go wrong!

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